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Let’s all remember that more and more poetry gets lost without earnest attempts at translation.Read poetry here to get a glimpse of the rhythms and resonances of languages you don’t know.

The Girl Who Loved Dead Things – D. W. Lloyd

Jan 21, 2022 | Poetry | 3 comments

Anne was a girl who was raised by the sea.
At first she was happy; content as can be.
She didn’t have friends; she had no one to trouble her
until that one day the sea gave her a bubbler,
a creature aquatic, and also quite dead.
“I like you a lot. You’re pretty,” she said.
That one special beach brought dead fauna so varied.
One of each back home was what Anne blithely carried.
She was fascinated and began a collection,
a menagerie whence she got her affection.
But they weren’t alive, and smell came from their rot.
Well, her parents disliked this, disliked it a lot.
“How horrid!” they shouted, and called her a freak.
They ended her hobby; she cried for a week.
Then one day she read you can mummy with honey.
“But how shall I get some?” she thought, “I’ve no money!”
She went to the forest to harvest from bees,
and they stung because she knocked their homes from the trees.
Then on the way home she encountered a boy,
and they started chatting. She didn’t play coy.
“How did you get stung?” He felt bad when he said it.
“I love honey lots; this is how I must get it.”
The very next day, she ran back to her beach
to browse through the corpses and get one of each.
A couple days later came her second lift:
the boy came to see her with honey, a gift!
He did this some more, became more than a friend.
She asked “Can we kiss? I don’t mean to offend.”
A nod and she kissed him; and then they went steady.
He was her first person; she found it quite heady.
She never forgot the names her folks had called her.
So to hide her shame she lied balder and balder.
Once when she was out, picking up new dead pets,
He stopped by her house, calling “Anne! Let’s play! Let’s!”
But no one was there, so he worried and frowned.
In a mission to find her, he looked all around.
Then the moment she found him alone in her room
was when he discovered her secret, their doom.
He saw the sea creatures; he saw them quite dead.
His face went quite white, and hers went quite red.
Boy, he was disgusted. He yelled “You’re so weird!”
This day had turned out just as bad as she’d feared.
She reached out to him as soon as he’d spoken,
but he just ran out and she stood there, heartbroken.
She knew she was bad, and she knew she was evil.
She should have expected this mortal upheaval.
So suddenly had she obtained her first person,
and now, in a flash, she knew life would just worsen.
Still wiping her tears, she walked straight to the ocean,
The only thing ever to show her devotion.
On into the water, she walked and she waded
until the waves took her and sight of land faded.
She floated and thought of all those who had said things,
and that was the end of the girl who loved dead things.

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Read Turkish poetry in translation: Junayd and Other Poems – Asaf Halet Çelebi

D. W. Lloyd lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with a spouse, no pets (yet), no kids. Daydreaming about words is less a hobby than a compulsion for D. W. When not defending arrested people’s rights, D. W. enjoys reading, leisure cycling, resisting the temptation to indulge in modern horror and fantasy video games, and also reading. Publications that have featured D. W.’s work include academic journals, an arts weekly magazine, a newspaper, and a literary journal. A teacher once called D. W. “an old soul.” Some jerk once called D. W. “Crayola”. D. W. is proud to have received these compliments.

3 Comments

  1. Lindsay Kunze

    As a girl who loves dead things, I love this poem! Hoping to see more from D.W. Lloyd!

    Reply
  2. Catherine

    This is amazing in its eeriness and appealing to the weirdos like me out there

    Reply
  3. Barbra C.

    Amazing. Cheeky and creepy and so much fun to read

    Reply

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